For most of us, an 8-bit microcomputer means 1 of the house personal computers which set so numerous of us on our way back again in the 1980s. But this ignores an entire technology of 1970s 8-bit devices which crammed the marketplace for economical office environment and industrial desktop computing ahead of we were being seduced by Pac-Gentleman or Frogger. It’s a person of these, an SWTPC 6809, that’s located its way into the arms of [Look Mum No Computer], and in direct contradiction to his branding, he’s made use of it to regulate a synthesizer.
As you’d hope from the identify, the laptop hides a 6809 processor, and comes from the close of the 1970s when that chip had been introduced in an exertion to stave off the market place risk from the likes of Zilog and MOS Systems. It has an SS-50 bus motherboard, and the saga in the online video beneath the break is as substantially about the output of a custom DAC and trigger port for it to push the synth as it is about troubleshooting a four-10 years-previous laptop or computer. It is a credit rating to SWTPC that the machine is largely doing work after all this time, having said that it succumbs to some harm for the duration of the enhancement of the interface.
At the stop even though, there is a thoroughly purposeful sequencer on a 1970s pc, participating in some very fantastic electronic music from an analogue synth. This is Accurately the future we had been promised, back in 1979!
Extensive-time readers will know this is not the first SWTPC that has graced these pages.